Federal law enforcement officials announced on Monday that a U.S. Army vet who recently converted to Islam was arrested late last week in California for allegedly planning terror attacks in Los Angeles.
The suspect was arrested on Friday “after he received what he thought was a bomb, but was actually an inert device supplied to him by an undercover law enforcement officer, federal officials said,” CBS Los Angeles reported.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that, according to a federal affidavit, the suspect considered “various attacks — including targeting Jews, churches, and police officers” and ultimately “decided to detonate an IED at a rally scheduled to take place in Long Beach this past weekend. As part of the plot, [the suspect] asked his confederate — who actually was cooperating with the FBI as part of the investigation — to find a bomb-maker, and [the suspect] last week purchased several hundred nails to be used as shrapnel inside the IED.”
The Washington Times noted that the suspect posted an “online video professing his Muslim faith on March 2 and the next day said in a post that ‘America needs another vegas event,’ referring to the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, that would give ‘them a taste of the terror they gladly spread all over the world.'”
Investigators say that they believe the suspect was “a recent convert to Islam who…was seeking revenge for the March massacres at two New Zealand mosques that killed 50 people,” The Washington Post reported.
“The individual charged in this case wanted to carry out a mass casualty attack with explosive devices, and he moved very quickly from talking about violence to mobilizing to commit such an attack,” said Assistant Director Michael McGarrity of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. “This case should remind the public of the need to be vigilant and notify law enforcement if you see suspicious behavior.”
The Department of Justice noted that the suspect expressed “his desire to commit a terrorist act, at points contemplating a drive-by shooting with a modified AK-47-style rifle he owned, and at other points considering the use of an IED,” adding that he “allegedly expressed support for ISIS and said ‘if ISIS came here, he would swear allegiance to ISIS.'”
The suspect reportedly referenced “the Boston Marathon bombing and asked the [informant] to find a person to construct an IED that he said could cause 50 casualties.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The name of the suspect has been withheld from this article. Recent studies suggest that “media coverage of mass shootings can have a significant impact on the psyches of potential mass shooters — that such potential mass shooters have a cognitive craving for attention, which they know they will receive for committing atrocities.” For this reason, The Daily Wire no longer publishes names and images of mass shooters as it has become increasingly clear in recent years that “the value of public knowledge regarding specific names and photographs of mass shooters is significantly outweighed by the possibility of encouraging more mass shootings.”